Prince William Gives Emotional Speech Remembering Princess Diana

Prince William opened up about his journey with grief following the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in an emotional speech on Tuesday, May 10. The 39-year-old Duke of Cambridge reflected on his mother's passing while attending the official opening of the Manchester Arena memorial with his wife Kate Middleton on Tuesday, nearly five years after the terrorist attack at Manchester Arena during an Ariana Grande concert that killed 22 people, many young fans of the singer, and left hundreds more injured.

Addressing those in attendance, William shared that it was "very important" to him and Middleton to be there "to remember the 22 lives so brutally taken. To acknowledge the hundreds of lives that were irrevocably changed and to pay tribute to the resilience of this great city." Reflecting on the May 22, 2017, tragedy, Williams said that five years later, he still remembers "too well the shock and grief on the faces of those I met when I visited Manchester in the days following the atrocity." William went on to reflect on his own tragic loss, noting that he knows "the pain and the trauma" from the tragic event "has not gone away" despite the time that has passed. 

"As someone who lives with his own grief, I also know that what often matters most to the bereaved is that those we have lost are not forgotten," he said. "There is comfort in remembering. In acknowledging that, while taken horribly soon, they lived. They changed our lives. They were loved, and they are loved. It is why memorials such as the Glade of Light are so important. Why Catherine and I so wanted to be amongst you today. And we remember the entirety of the Manchester community who responded in the most heart-warming and life-affirming ways possible to support those affected."

William, who was just 15 when his mother died on Aug. 31, 1997, went on to praise the people of Manchester, sharing that while the tragedy was "an attack on an evening of music. And it occurred in a city that has given the world so many songs to sing," the people of Manchester "told the world that your music would not be silenced." He noted that in the days following the atrocity, "the people of Manchester gathered to pay respects to the victims... you raised your voices together and you sang a song of love that was written by some of this city's most famous sons. On that day you told each other that you would not look back in anger. And you showed the world the true heart of this extraordinary place. So, when we come to this memorial let's look back with love for those we lost."

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William concluded his speech by encouraging those in attendance to "look back with love for the people who cared for and protected this community." He added, "and let's look back with love for the ongoing strength of the great city of Manchester."